Toronto gym ordered to close after reopening in defiance of lockdown
After the owner of Etobicoke restaurant Adamson Barbecue attempted to open and serve indoor diners three days in a row despite municipal and provincial orders prohibiting it, some other businesses decided to follow suit and reopen their doors in protest of the lockdowm.
Express Fitness Scarborough is one such business, and they took to Instagram this week to announce that they too would be opening their doors to the public at 12 p.m. on Thursday for a workout and "peaceful protest."
"Flex your muscles small business owners," they wrote on the social media platform ahead of Thursday's protest. "Pandemic or not you are all essential and have a right to@open your business this is Canada."
As promised, the owner of the gym and several members showed up for the workout and protest around noon on Thursday, but they were quickly met with the arrival of police and bylaw officers.
The owner of Express Fitness in Scarborough is defying provincial orders and re-opening today. He says it’s unfair gyms are closed, there’s no evidence to justify it. He’s been served an eviction notice because he’s unable to pay the rent and just wants help. pic.twitter.com/GMbzQ9PuD8— NEWSTALK1010 (@NEWSTALK1010) November 26, 2020
The gym owner told media on site that he had only planned to allow five people in his 25,000-square-foot gym at a time, but officers arrived before he had the chance.
Members therefore remained outside the gym while officers convened inside.
Shortly after, the gym was ordered to shut down and the city issued two summonses for failure to comply with the province's Reopening Ontario Act, according to chief communications officer for the city Brad Ross.
But unlike Adamson Barbecue owner Adam Skelly, the owner complied with the order and said he has no plans to reopen tomorrow.
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